Jewish Journal

A Lesson from Charlie Sheen’s Self-Proclaimed “Meltdown” | Who cares what people think?

by Nicole Behnam

November 20, 2011 | 8:10 pm

Charlie Sheen, NY Post

Charlie Sheen was out of his mind months ago. Web sites showcased his quotes from interviews, people were reposting his lines (words) as their Facebook statuses, and on Twitter, virtually everybody was #winning.

Although I laughed through many of his interviews as I watched him so eloquently try to convince Katie Couric and several others that he had tiger blood running through his veins, I found one of his interview responses enlightening, to say the least.

The concept of “winning,” as Sheen meant it was still unidentified and ambiguous to me, and to the rest of the world. What did this mean? Winning in what sense? A reporter from Radar Online attempted to demystify this term:

UNIDENTIFIED INTERVIEWER: Winning? Some would say that you`re defeated now.

CHARLIE SHEEN: They can say that, but what kind of car are they driving? What kind of girls are in their home? I said girls, yes.

My first instinct was laughter, but then I noticed that although Charlie Sheen’s statement was characterized by superficial thinking, he had a point. No, I’m not suggesting that fancy cars and attractive women determine the quality of a man’s life. Rather, that Charlie Sheen is equipped with a mentality that would dramatically transform anybody’s life for the better:


Perhaps this statement doesn’t seem so powerful to you, but bear with me. Of course, we all care what people think. Even I care. I wake up in the morning, and I choose an appropriate outfit that matches the venue I’ll be arriving at. I’m not trying to impress anybody in particular, but I want to make sure, at the very least, to accommodate the “scene.”

What Charlie Sheen refuses to care about is different. He doesn’t care what labels are being used against him; he doesn’t care which reporter doubts him; and he will not accept anyone else’s definition of “winning.”

One of the greatest mental freedoms is truly not caring what anyone else thinks of you. Your actions will not be governed by a potential rumor or somebody else’s opinion or judgment. You can define the term “success” for yourself. You can live up to the standards you set. And most importantly, you can live in accordance with the values that comprise your personal code of ethics.

Nothing other people say will ever disturb your peace if you adopt the right mentality. And always remember:  If you care what people think, you are their slave.

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When Nicole Behnam was 15, she joined the school newspaper and discovered that journalism was one of her passions. To take her passion one step further, she called Brentwood...

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